Like his great-granddaughter Julia, Marcello was passionate about family photography, but in a different sort of way. The invention of the daguerreotype camera allowed people in the middle classes to capture the visages of their loved ones for the first time. Unfortunately for Marcello, his photography sessions were slightly less interactive than a modern session would be.
In his early career Marcello photographed dead people. It was a 19th century trend called Post-Mortem photography where families would pose with the recently deceased for a keepsake. Thankfully, Julia does not have any examples of his work from this time.
A love of photography is something that Marcello passed on to Julia’s grandfather, Federico. He used his talent to document his own family’s life, through their time hiding in the Alps during World War II to his sons’ growing up and leaving the nest.
This set of images from her father’s life is one of Julia’s most prized possessions. They link her family to the history that she learned in school. One image of her grandmother in particular has always struck a chord: during the War, she stands between her two chubby little boys, skinny as a rail. To Julia, it shows a mother’s love for her children, giving up her own food in a time of thrift to make sure her boys stayed healthy.